Within approximately an area of twenty miles of where I live there are nearly two dozen churches of varying denominations, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Charismatics, some that consider themselves Evangelical, pretty much the average. This area that I have resided in for the last two decades could be considered rural, and for the most part we do not of course all know each other, but nearly every name has been at least heard of a few times, it is the same everywhere on this planet, the circle of acquaintances grows dimmer in its relationship as it widens out.
There are of course many who will say they believe in God, but when pressed, they cannot describe to me who He is, what His character is, they know of Him but they have no relationship to the Lord, they are not part of the family, they cannot by the power, grace, and mercy of the Holy Spirit call Him Father. My point in all this is this, in all these years not one individual that I can recall has ever invited me to the church they attend, not one has ever asked me if I know Jesus Christ as Lord. They can all hold a conversation for hours on end, and will do so if you allow them to, about the obvious, about the transitory and mundane occurrences that fill their lives on a daily basis, but they refuse to speak of the One they are listening about every Sunday morning. Twenty years my friends, two entire decades, and not one person out of thousands who don the proper attire once a week, perhaps retrieve that dusty book off the shelf, and hear the message each weekend, not one out of thousands.
We are known by what we do, and if actions are any indication of intent, then one can come to the conclusion that I live in a godless area, an area that believes itself to be saved but has no actions or fruits to prove that salvation. In nearly every occurrence that I have with people, I will bring up something that pertains to the Almighty, to Christ, to the eternal, not always of course, some the Spirit of God is not interested in speaking to at that moment, (Matt. 13:15) and although I have in no way had an encounter with all in this area, there are indeed many I have spoken with. I do the same thing nearly every time, I make it personal, my statements and questions are meant to reach the heart, meant to show them who they are and to get past the notions of who they believe themselves to be. I am considered too forthright, too adamant, too probing, nearly all I meet exhibit a “That’s between God and me,” mentality, they are polite to a fault, but they have no desire to truly seek the face of the Lord, for the most part, they consider themselves good people, and good people go to heaven.
You may want to stop reading this letter at this point, for I am going to ask you a question you may not want to answer. Which group are you in? What exactly are the fruits of the Spirit you are exhibiting on a daily basis, is it your once a week church attendance, perhaps the mid-week Bible study you attend, maybe you have several or more Scripture verses committed to memory. When you meet others outside or inside of the church building, what do your conversations generally revolve around, the temporary or the eternal, do the words “praise God” or perhaps “it’s in the Lord’s will” pass your lips. Good for you, but tell me this, when was the last time you asked someone who they believe Jesus is, when was the last time that you can recall that you asked someone if they know Jesus Christ as Lord, if they have an ongoing personal relationship with Him.
I’ll make it simple for you, when was the last time you invited someone to church, and then checked back with them to see why they did not show up. Twenty years, two entire decades, nearly two dozen churches, and not one person. You may think perhaps I just have not had an opportunity to speak with the majority of them, that the rounds just haven’t passed my way yet, but my friends, if you count all the individuals in this area I am referring to, they could all fit quite easily into any large skyscraper’s first floor only.
There are no viable excuses, and there will be none for you either when your day of accounting comes. People that care, people that love Christ perform actions that exhibit love. I do not believe that many who call themselves Christians truly understand just how narrow that gate is, (Matt. 7:14) I believe they think they can just skim through life with an emotion based faith, with absolutely no fruits of the Spirit, no visible works whatsoever, and still find themselves in heaven the moment after they leave the earth. There are not nearly as many Christians as what you may think there are, and at best, there are more unprofitable servants than there are profitable.
If all you can show the world of your faith is a few “praise Gods,” a few “it’s in the Lord’s hands,” if you have nothing more than an emotion based faith with no works towards others for Christ, then you are deceiving yourself about your salvation. In the eyes of the Lord we are what we do, we are what we say to others about Him, your feelings, your nice uplifting emotions are not proof of your salvation. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:22) Not some, not a few, many.